Monday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Commandment Like to the First.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Monday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Commandment Like to the First.
By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another. (John xiii, 35.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the precept of loving your neighbour goes along with that of the love of God. The love of God is called the first and greatest commandment; the love of one’s neighbour is called the second, because we ought to love our neighbour for God’s sake and God for Himself, and not for the sake of our neighbour. For the rest these two precepts are so united together that one cannot love one’s neighbour if one does not love God, nor love God if one does not love one’s neighbour. Hence they may be said not only to have been born together but also to die together.
APPLICATION. Can you have the heart then to set so little value on this precept? Our Lord’s words are unmistakable: And the second is like unto the first.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Lord who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? . . . He . . . who hath not used deceit in his tongue, nor hath done evil to his neighbour. (Ps. xiv, I, 3.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that the love of one’s neighbour consists in wishing him well in soul and in body. Then it is that you love him as yourself, when you desire the good of both, as you do for yourself. This good you should desire for your neighbour precisely because he is your neighbour, so that he may be helped by you to attain to eternal beatitude along with you. Therefore you must desire this good for all men be they great or little, be they good or bad, benefactors or enemies; that so all may be your companions hereafter in heaven.
APPLICATION. If, therefore, you exclude any of these from your love, it is not possible for really true love of your neighbour to be in you, even as one who denies but one dogma of faith taught by the Church cannot have true faith. Yet how many boast of loving their neighbour, whilst they refuse this love to perhaps more than one. For to these they do not wish that good, which the law of charity requires us to have for all.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved. (Ps. cxviii, 4-7.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that there are three stages in this love for our neighbour. The first is that concerning him you never admit any thought that is unjust or unreasonable. For by doing so you would not only not love him, but would rather show your hatred of him. The second that you wish well to your neighbour for his own sake. Therefore when you love him either for the pleasure of his conversation, or for the good you desire from your connection with him, though you do not thereby transgress the precept, at least you do not fulfil it. For you do not then love him as your neighbour, or as one like yourself, but merely in view of your own self and for your own advantage. Thirdly, you should not wish well to your neighbour with cold and indifferent will, but with one that is fervent and efficacious. In charity unfeigned. (2 Cor. vi. 6.)
APPLICATION. How solicitous you are in order to procure whatever you imagine to be for your own profit and advantage! You should do as much for your neighbour if you love him as yourself. But how rarely are any to be found in the world who fulfil this great precept? Many love their neighbour with an interested love, and most with a love that may be said to be more dead than alive. Consider seriously to which of these classes your love belongs.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Make the way known to me, wherein I should walk; for I have lifted up my soul to Thee. (Ps. cxlii. 8.)
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
Of the Exercises of a good religious Man.
VII. And if it be deferred, let us believe that we are not well prepared, and that we are as yet unworthy of the great glory which shall be revealed in us at the appointed time; and let us endeavour to prepare ourselves better for our departure.
Blessed is that servant, says the evangelist St. Luke, whom, when his Lord shall come, he shall find watching. Amen, I say to you, He shall set him over all His possessions.–Luke. xii. 43.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt VI.
August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary
Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)
Act of Perfect Contrition
Oh my God! I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee and
I detest all my sins because
I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell;
But most of all because I have offended Thee, My God,
Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
To confess my sins, to do penance,
And to amend my life. Amen.
Prayers in Time of Calamity
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